Easy Chimichurri Sauce

Chimichurri Sauce is easy to make can be used as a marinade, finishing sauce, dipping sauce or added into a wealth of delicious dishes. It is fresh, vibrantly colored and an instant pick-me-up for everything from eggs to quesadillas.

overhead of small spoon in homemade chimichurri sauce


What is Chimichurri Sauce?

Traditional Chimichurri Sauce is of Argentine descent. This uncooked sauce is filled with fresh herbs, garlic, olive oil and a host of other ingredients, which is what makes it so special and customizable. It is now found in many Latin American countries and there is even a red chimichurri sauce variety.

Steak with chimichurri sauce seems to be the most popular, but really it tastes great on other grilled meats, arepas con queso, vegetables, salads and even as a breakfast condiment on eggs! Check out this Chicken Chimichurri Pasta!

Skirt Steak Chimichurri close up

Chimichurri Main Ingredients

This chimichurri sauce recipe is fairly basic. Like Italians to Sunday sauce, there are many variations that are special from family to family. My recipe is basic, but can easily be modified to accommodate your tastes with some of the variations below.

  • Flat Leaf Parsley- Also known as Italian parsley, it has a better flavor than its curly counterpart. Some stems are fine, but leave anything woody out. I do not recommend using dried parsley for this sauce since the fresh herbs are really the star of the show.
  • Fresh Garlic– Listen, no one will judge you for adding more garlic, even doubling it, but you will be judged if you use pre minced garlic from a jar. Always go fresh!
  • Cilantro– Adding a lemony and peppery flavor profile, it helps to make this simple sauce more complex.
  • Crushed Red Pepper– Yes- we like our sauce HOT! If this isn’t for you, simply omit it. If you like your mouth on fire, add the recommended amount and you can always add more, but you can’t take away the heat once blended. Also note that it will infuse the oil, so it likely gets more impactful if it sits.
  • Ground Black Pepper- for obvious reasons.
  • Olive Oil– Depending on how you are serving it will also depend on how much oil you’ll use, but do not skimp on the cheap stuff. Get a good quality oil!
  • Red Wine Vinegar– I like using a basic red wine vinegar, you can also substitute white, sherry, champagne, white wine vinegar any other type of vinegar that strikes your fancy.
  • Coarse Kosher Salt– Salt is essential to amp up the natural flavors and help perserve the sauce if you plan to make it ahead of time or save the leftovers.
spooning up easy chimichurri sauce

Cilantro Tastes Like Soap!

If you are one of those people who has the “I hate cilantro” taste bud, don’t worry. You can leave it out altogether and still have a fine chimichurri sauce. I would, however, recommend using oregano to punch it up a little.


Like so many other recipes, there is no perfect chimichurri, but there are thousands of really good ones- just make something that YOU like!

  • Cumin
  • Jalapeno pepper
  • Serrano pepper
  • Habanero Pepper
  • Lemon Zest
  • Fresh oregano
  • Shallot
  • Red Onion
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Lime Zest

How to Make Chimichurri Sauce

Old school purists will tell you with a mortar and pestle, but new school folks like myself will tell you a mini food processor is the way to go. 

  1. Add the parsley and cilantro to a small food processor, pulse until coarsely chopped. The goal is for it to still be leafy and not turn into a paste. Remove using a spatula to a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  2. Repeat with the garlic until minced and add to the herb mixture. Garlic can also be hand minced or grated.
  3. Stir the olive oil, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.
  4. Cover and allow the flavors to marry, storing at room temperature.

Can I make chimichurri without a food processor?

Your arms are about to get a fabulous workout! Just mince all the ingredients as small as you can. Traditionally speaking, it was made with a mortar and pestle, much like pesto sauce.

green chimichurri sauce recipe in a small glass bowl

Storage & Freezing

Make Ahead

This chimichurri sauce recipe can be made ahead of time up to a few days ahead of time, but I prefer to not make it more than one day ahead of when I plan to use it. The greens start to lose their vibrancy. Store it in an airtight container at room temperature and stir well before using.

Can you freeze chimichurri sauce?

You can freeze it in an airtight container for up to 4 months. Plastic airtight bags also work well. It can even be made into single servings by freezing it in an ice cube tray, then popping them out into an airtight bag.

Can chimichurri sauce go bad?

It sure can. Olive oil can go rancid, as can the fresh ingredients in the sauce. Since this is homemade and doesn’t have any preservatives other than natural salt, it will keep in a refrigerated environment for up to 1 week. 

chimichurri sauce in small glass bowl with text overlay

Recipes that Use Chimichurri

This piquant multipurpose sauce can be added to literally anything that needs a little flavor boost from burgers to scrambled eggs and everything between. Here are a few of our favorites.

overhead of small spoon in homemade chimichurri sauce

Easy Chimichurri Sauce Recipe

5 from 6 votes
Authentic Chimichurri Sauce is easy to make and doubles as a marinade and sauce. Traditional chimichurri ingredients will flavor any dish!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 cups



  • Add the parsley and cilantro to a small food processor, pulse until coarsely chopped. Remove using a spatula to a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  • Repeat with the garlic until minced and add to the herb mixture.
  • Stir the olive oil, red wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt and black pepper.
  • Cover and allow the flavors to marry until you are ready to use it in your favorite recipes.
  • If you've tried this recipe, come back and let us know how it was in the comments or star ratings.



Calories: 506 kcal, Carbohydrates: 5 g, Protein: 2 g, Fat: 54 g, Saturated Fat: 7 g, Sodium: 619 mg, Potassium: 363 mg, Fiber: 2 g, Vitamin A: 5460 IU, Vitamin C: 82 mg, Calcium: 83 mg, Iron: 4.1 mg
Author: Chef Jessica Anne
Calories: 506
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Spanish
Keyword: chimichurri recipe, chimichurri sauce
Did you make this recipe?I’d love to see your recipes – snap a picture and mention @savoryexperiments or tag #savoryexperiments!
collage of chimichurri sauce recipe with text overlay for pinterest
Jessica Formicola in her ktichen

About the Author

Chef Jessica Anne Formicola

Jessica the mom, wife and chef behind Savory Experiments. You might see her on the Emmy- nominated TV show Plate It! or on bookshelves as a cookbook author. Jessica is a Le Cordon Bleu certified recipe developer and regularly contributed to Parade, Better Homes & Gardens, The Daily Meal, Mashed and more!

Read More About Jessica

5 from 6 votes (2 ratings without comment)

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Questions and Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    I like that you mentioned that chimichurri sauce can go rancid. My wife loves the stuff and wants to eat it all the time so I am constantly making it. I wonder if there is a way to make it last longer.

  2. I’ll look for a chimichurri sauce that has olive oil so I can get volume. I have never had it before so I want to try it before I make it myself. Mainly to see what it tastes like and to see if I can replicate that.